How can the serious challenges of a revered church in New York City echo the all-important question: “How do we improve our workplace culture?”
Imagine your church neighborhood is home to 15 million people. A new lease means the uprooting and resettling of 200 staff. Staff engagement and satisfaction (let alone effectiveness) is literally up in the air.
Maintaining the influence and impact of a church that “brings personal conversion, community formation, social justice, and cultural renewal to New York City and, through it, to the world” means the continuity and overall health of your culture can’t afford to suffer.
Somewhat sobering scores from the BCWI Employee Engagement Survey became the catalyst for five, fresh God-honoring actions that characterized Redeemer’s culture makeover.
The transformation . . .
1. . . . leveraged quick wins.
“One of these was boosting stronger health plans and retirement benefits for non-senior staff,” notes Brian. It was a good and overdue decision made possible by stewarding undesignated generous contributions.
2. . . . required leadership training.
Notes Brian, “The BCWI Survey revealed inconsistent management behaviors, not a surprise since many of our capable department leaders had no formal management training. One-to-one sessions on practical excellence were superb.”
3. . . . integrated regular feedback.
“Feedback that’s packaged with an annual job performance review was valuable but lacking. For feedback to be effective, it had to be immediate specific and constructive,” says Chris.
4. . . . meant accountability.
“A lot of our entry-level people on the front lines felt they couldn’t question, much less confront their managers. Hard to believe, being in New York City,” chuckles Brian.
“Our teams learned to be more effective by making room for differing perspectives and opinions. Listening to the right requests and learning to have the right kind of conversations between staff and leadership has been key to improving our culture.”
5. . . . involved everyone.
“In our ministry, as in our culture, God works through all of us,” adds Brian. “What Christ is doing through each person is no small thing. It’s people who deliver the ministry. An investment in our people, through bettering our culture, is an investment in what God can and will do through his church.”
Learning to have the right kind of conversations between staff and leadership has been key to improving our culture.
In the past 2 years, Redeemer Presbyterian Church has improved the health of their culture from critical moment to healthy.